Delivery-focussed Elixir, Python, XSL/XQuery, (No)SQL, and Agile consultancy, specialising in content migration, API design, and (micro)services.

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Fixing timezones in PHP

Had a little problem recently with PHP on one of our servers. I threw the following script onto the server to see what was going on:

<?php echo date('Y-m-d H:i:s'), "\n", `date`;

If you’ve not seen the backticks before, this is just a quick way to execute the contents of the backticks as a shell command. The output will be returned so it can be assigned to a variable, or echo’d.

The script showed that PHP was an hour out, even though the server was set to the correct date/time (which I wrote about recently).

Delving deeper, I checked the php.ini file. The timezone was set to GMT, which is an exact timezone. The correct way to set the timezone is to use the location of the server.

Once I set it to Europe/London, restarted the PHP processes (we’re using FastCGI), all was well.


Originally posted: Apr 08 2013